Two Additional Senior Aides to UK's Boris Johnson Resign Amid Partygate Scandal

© REUTERS / MAY JAMESA view of number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, January 31, 2022
A view of number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, January 31, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
On Thursday night, two of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior officials resigned, part of the growing fallout from a now-notorious December 2020 party held at 10 Downing street, in defiance of COVID lockdown restrictions.
The latest resignations involve Dan Rosenfield, the prime minister's chief of staff, and Martin Reynolds, Johnson's principal private secretary.
A No 10 spokesperson confirmed late Thursday that Rosenfield and Reynolds had submitted their resignations earlier in the day, and that both requests had been "accepted" by the prime minister.
"Martin Reynolds also informed the prime minister of his intention to stand down from his role as principal private secretary and the prime minister has agreed to this," the official stated.

"[The UK prime minister] has thanked [Rosenfield and Reynolds] for their significant contribution to government and No 10, including work on the pandemic response and economic recovery," the spokesperson noted.

"They will continue in their roles while successors are appointed, and recruitment for both posts is underway."

Rosenfield and Reynolds have not publicly commented on their reasons for resigning, but the intense scrutiny from "partygate," a series of parties held at 10 Downing street that broke Covid lockdown restrictions in winter of 2020, is a suspected factor.
Reynolds will be returning to a role in the Foreign Office, according to reports.
The announcement came hours after two other senior officials to Johnson announced their plans to leave - Jack Doyle, Number 10's director of communications, and Munira Mirza, policy chief.

Doyle reportedly told staff that recently working at 10 Downing street had "taken a terrible toll on my family life."

Doyle, reportedly, gave a speech and handed out awards at a Christmas party hosted at 10 Downing Street in December 2020. The former journalist joined Johnson's staff in early 2020.

A Number 10 spokesperson said of Doyle's resignation: "Jack Doyle has left government. He has made a huge contribution and the prime minister is immensely grateful for the work he has done."

While Doyle's resignation has been attributed to "partygate", Mirza's resignation is attributed to comments made by Johnson on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, enters Downing street in central London on November 13, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
Boris Johnson's Policy Chief Resigns Over PM's 'Scurrilous' Savile Remark
Johnson claimed that Starmer personally failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile, who after his death in 2011 was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of minors during his lifetime.

On Monday, Johnson accused Starmer, while the former was director of public prosecutions (DPP), of spending "most of his time prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile."

Johnson did not offer evidence to support his claim and, after days of pressure, walked back his comments but failed to apologize in a way that satisfied Mirza.

Mirza wrote in her resignation letter: "I believe it was wrong for you to imply this week that Keir Starmer was personally responsible for allowing Jimmy Savile to escape justice. There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion. This was not the usual cut and thrust of politics; it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse. You tried to clarify your position today but, despite my urging, you did not apologise for the misleading impression you gave."

"You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand which is why it is desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the Leader of the Opposition," she observed.

"Even now, I hope you find it in yourself to apologise for a grave error of judgement made under huge pressure. I appreciate that our political culture is not forgiving when people say sorry, but regardless, it is the right thing to do. It is not too late for you but, I’m sorry to say, it is too late for me."

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